If you are living with diabetic eye issues or diabetic eye disease, the best way to prevent or improve worsening conditions is to schedule regular eye exams. If you are seeking treatment in the Kansas City area, Discover Vision offers specially designed care personalized just for you. Our experienced diabetic eye doctors work to provide in-depth diabetic eye exams and strive to find the best way to preserve your vision. Discover Vision has ophthalmologists who are fellowship-trained retina specialists and optometrists who manage and treat diabetic eye care.
Why Is Diabetic Eye Care Important?
Diabetes is a condition in which the body’s ability to process and store sugar is impaired. Approximately sixteen million Americans have diabetes. Five million are at risk for vision loss because they don’t know they have diabetes. Diabetics are twenty-five times more likely to become blind than those without the disease.
Diabetic eye exams are important because they allow specialists to detect and treat diabetic retinopathy early on. Regularly scheduling diabetic eye checks is important because it helps to prevent further damage to your eyes. Working closely with your optometrist or ophthalmologist, it may be recommended that you schedule a six-month checkup in addition to a yearly eye exam to monitor the health of your eyes.
Diabetes and Vision Loss
Diabetes can affect your eyes. In fact, it is currently the leading cause of vision loss in Americans between the ages of 18–64.
Diabetic retinopathy is an eye disease that can develop as a complication of diabetes. It affects the nerve tissue that covers the back of your eye (the retina). High blood sugar levels lead to blood vessel damage that affects the retina; this may cause blood vessels to leak blood or fluids that can cause swelling of the retina. It is possible for new, abnormal blood vessels to develop, causing additional swelling or scar tissue. Side effects include obstructed or blurred vision and an impaired ability to perceive colors. If left undiagnosed or untreated, diabetic retinopathy can lead to blindness or permanent vision loss.
There are multiple eye diseases that can negatively affect your vision in different ways:
Diabetic retinopathy is a complication of diabetes caused by the deterioration of blood vessels in the retina. This condition causes scarring and abnormal blood vessel formation due to high blood sugar levels. It can lead to blurred or obstructed vision and, if left untreated, permanent eyesight loss or blindness. The longer you have diabetes, the greater your chances are of developing this condition.
Diabetic Macular Edema
As the blood vessels change, fluid can begin to leak from the blood vessels and cause the retina to become swollen, a complication of diabetic retinopathy called diabetic macular edema. This can lead to blurring of a patient’s central vision. Fortunately, this is often treatable with eye injections or laser surgery.
Globally, glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness. People living with diabetes are 40% more likely to develop glaucoma, a condition characterized by increased pressure in the eye, which can cause blindness when left untreated. The increased pressure damages ocular blood vessels and nerves.
Diabetes can lead to two different types of glaucoma: open-angle glaucoma or angle-closure glaucoma.
Open-angle glaucoma is the most common type of glaucoma and occurs slowly over the patient’s lifetime. Diabetic glaucoma symptoms include a loss of peripheral vision. Often, the patient doesn’t realize they have this condition until damage to the optic nerve is severe and they are at risk of going blind. This is why it is important to schedule regular diabetic eye exams to detect glaucoma early on.
Angle-closure glaucoma occurs when the angle between the cornea and iris narrows due to a sudden increase in eye pressure. It is less common and the symptoms, including headache, blurred vision, and pain may occur quickly.
Diabetes and Cataracts
If you are a person living with diabetes, cataracts may develop at an earlier age than for those who do not have diabetes. This means the lens inside your eye will become cloudy, leading to blurry vision and glare. Fortunately, the expert eye doctors at Discover Vision Centers are able to treat this problem with cataract surgery and restore vision.
Retinal detachment is a medical emergency that can occur for various reasons, including age, a previous eye injury or certain conditions such as diabetic retinopathy. During a retinal detchment, the retina will begin to separate from the rest of the eye, which can lead to permanent vision loss in a matter of hours if left untreated. Symptoms include flashes of vision loss or floaters in your eyesight.
Diabetic Eye Care Treatment Options
Staying on top of your diabetes treatment is the best way to prevent diabetic eye disease; however, if you have developed diabetic retinopathy, our specialists at Discover Vision Centers are here to help find the best treatment for your needs. Treatment options vary depending on how much damage is present. These include – but are not limited to – diabetic laser treatments, eye injections, and eye surgery for diabetics. Diabetic laser treatment, also known as laser photocoagulation, aims to seal or damage abnormal blood vessels in an effort to stop your vision from getting worse. Eye injections may be administered into your eye to prevent new blood vessels from forming in the back of your eyes. Eye surgery for diabetics, also known as vitreoretinal surgery, may be needed to reduce the amount of fluid or blood behind the lens of the eye. Your doctor may also discuss the use of an oral medication to prevent more abnormal blood vessels from forming.
Book Your Diabetic Eye Exam Today!
Discover Vision has convenient locations in Missouri and Kansas. Call today to speak with one of our specialists and request a diabetic eye exam at the location nearest you.
Diabetic eye exams are recommended at least once a year for those living with diabetes. The purpose of these exams is to screen for signs of diabetic retinopathy in order to work preventatively at avoiding any loss or deterioration of vision. These exams consist of a dilated retinal exam, where your eye doctor will apply special drops to allow more light into the retina, allowing them to look for signs of abnormal blood vessels or leakage.
How Often Should Those With Diabetes Have an Eye Exam?
If you have been diagnosed with diabetes, it is important to stay on top of your eye health. Ninety percent of diabetes-related eye disease is preventable, and it is important to schedule appointments even if you are not experiencing symptoms of eye disease. One to two exams a year are recommended for those living with diabetes. If you have type 1 diabetes, you should schedule your first exam within five years of your diagnosis, whereas those diagnosed with type 2 diabetes should schedule an exam immediately upon diagnosis. If you are currently living with diabetes, and are experiencing any symptoms of eye disease or vision loss, it is important that you schedule an eye exam right away.
What to Expect at Your Diabetic Eye Screening?
During a diabetes eye examination, your doctor will use special eye drops to dilate your pupil, allowing them to see into the back of your eyes to check for signs of diabetic retinopathy. These drops are painless but will cause slightly blurred vision and light sensitivity, so it is important that you come to your appointment with sunglasses and someone who can drive you home following your diabetic eye test. The office may provide you with temporary sunglasses to be worn during sun exposure following your exam, or you are welcome to wear your own sunglasses. The amount of time it takes to readjust after dilation is different for everyone. Wearing sunglasses is an important step in protecting your vision until your pupils readjust after being dilated.
Why Choose Diabetic Eye Care Doctors From Discover Vision?
Discover Vision has served the Kansas City area for over fifty years. Our eye doctors specialize in diabetes andwork with your needs to prioritize your care. Discover Vision has ophthalmologists who are fellowship-trained in retina treatment, which means that they have undergone additional training to be an eye doctor for diabetics. Our doctors have access to the most advanced technology available, and we have multiple locations to allow for quick and easy access to top-notch care.
Discover Vision offers:
nine clinic locations;
three LASIK/SMILE vision correction centers;
three eye surgery centers;
convenient Missouri and Kansas locations;
board-certified, highly-trained specialists;
access to advanced, effective technology;
personalized, one-on-one patient care.
I have had great experiences at this office. I love the doctor and he is very good at letting you know what is going on and taking time to discuss the results. I would highly recommend Dr. Sayed.
Everyone was very pleasant and helpful. Dr. Brett Dawson was very kind, explanatory of what was going on and what we need to do now and what the goal is for this not happening again. Also he has a bit of a sense of humor, appreciated that!! Discover is really great!!
Diabetes check up on my vision at this appointment, and everything looks good! Pressure was good, and my last year Cataract operations looked perfect! I’m still amazed at how well I can see! Thanks Discover Vision Centers!!
Contact a Diabetic Eye Care Specialist Near You Today!
Call Discover Vision at 816-750-6261 to schedule an appointment with a Discover Vision retinal specialist. Click here to schedule an appointment online with one of our diabetic eye exam doctors.
Every Medicare plan is different depending on the type of plan you have. Medicare typically covers a portion of medical office visits, and some plans may also provide a routine vision benefit. If you suffer from a chronic eye condition, like glaucoma, Medicare may cover certain eye exams and eye care services related to that condition.
Can I Drive After a Diabetic Eye Exam?
Dilated pupils lead to blurred vision and light sensitivity making it difficult to perform regular tasks until your pupils are no longer dilated. Depending on how long your eyes stay dilated, it may not be safe for you to be behind the wheel. It is recommended to bring someone with you to your diabetic eye exam so they can drive you home afterwards.